British Executions

John Kewish

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 1 Aug 1872

Crime Location:

Execution Place: unknown

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


John Kewish was a  middle-aged,  self confessed sheep rustler who was convicted of the murder of his father at Sulby on the Isle of Man. On 28th March, John Kewish senior was found dead in a field with four chest wounds which the police thought had been caused with a pitchfork. Evidence led the police to his son who was charged with, and later convicted of, his murder. In the condemned cell, Kewish confessed that he had shot his father four times and that he had died instantly. It was the first execution on the island for thirty years and there was much trouble building a scaffold for Calcraft to hang the man on. Firstly, there was a great deal of reluctance by the island's carpenters to build the scaffold; and secondly, when a Castletown contractor finally agreed to undertake the task, it was discovered there were no plans or drawings to aid construction as no one had ever witnessed an execution. Eventually the Governor of Kirkdale forwarded a blueprint and the execution went ahead as scheduled in the grounds of Castle Rushen at Castletown on the 1st August 1872.